Have you ever arrived in a city shrouded in fog? At night? In Asia? I couldn’t have picked a better spot. Hong Kong is a city made for eerie light, neon ablaze down narrow streets and the splatter of wet underfoot. Hong Kong is Blade Runner after all. Tis sci-fi down to its heart.
You think you know a city from postcards and James Bond films. I had no idea of how hilly Hong Kong is. Or the fact that it can be shrouded in fog (and decidedly cool because of it). From S’s apartment, the skyscrapers appear between the swathes of grey. Hong Kong’s tallest tower pokes upward, its 110 floors revealed to us after 24 hours of being here.
For a city of endless skyscrapers, Honkers is amazingly personal on street level. They say that the key to a building’s success is how it speaks to passers-by. Junk shops, small bars, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants chatter endlessly to us as we walk through and down to the lower levels. It feels like everyone knows each other, this city of seven million people. Our night ends with a petrol-strong martini in a bar down a shady, narrow corridor that apparently has a brothel out the back. It’s seedy in a nice way.
The morning reveals the ad-hoc plumbing.
And streets filled with fresh food. The fish is still flapping, tossing themselves onto the pavements in front of you. And ribs of meat hang from hooks. This is the Tesco of the East.
And if you like bright colours – particularly yellow – then this is the place for you. Chinese New Year has almost wrapped up. Decorations still adorn the buildings, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Then a prehistoric tree grows around a handrail. The modern world succumbs to nature. More tomorrow.